Finland to impose restrictions on travelers arriving from China

MINISTER for family and social services Krista Kiuru (SDP) reports that Finland will start imposing restrictions on travelers arriving from China.

On Wednesday, the European Union recommended that travelers from China be required to present a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 48 hours before departure due to the worsening coronavirus situation in China.

Member States are also encouraged to enforce the mandatory wearing of masks on all flights to and from China.

China has seen a resurgence in coronavirus infections since the government abruptly changed policy on Dec. 7, lifting its tough restrictions, leaving both hospitals and crematoria out of work. according to the Guardian.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday criticized China for underreporting hospital admissions, intensive care admissions and especially coronavirus-related deaths after the country sharply narrowed the criteria for classifying Covid-19 deaths. Although China has officially recorded only 22 coronavirus deaths since last month, rising number of deaths among prominent public figures caused concern among the population.

“We still don’t have complete data,” Michael RyanDirector of Emergency Situations, WHO declared in the Guardian on Wednesday.

While Germany and Sweden have already announced testing requirements for travelers arriving from China, there is hardly any consensus on the benefits of testing arrivals, Helsingin Sanomat wrote on Thursday. Jari Jalavaa senior expert at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), told the newspaper that the testing requirement would have a relatively small, if not entirely non-existent, impact on the epidemiological situation in Finland.

“No country has been able to stop new variants of the virus at its border during the pandemic with comparable or even more stringent measures,” he said. reminded.

Japan and the United States also announced tightening of border controls for those arriving from China.

Timo Aronquitothe director of the Vantaa and Kerava County Welfare Service, on Wednesday abruptly abandoned the idea of ​​returning to mandatory large-scale testing of arrivals at Helsinki Airport.

“Currently, we can send exactly zero nurses to the airport to screen passengers. There are not enough nurses in hospitals and nursing homes. Transporting them to the airport would needlessly endanger people’s health,” he said. declared in Helsingin Sanomat.

“There is no staff, no place, even if there was money. The number of arriving passengers is much higher.”

According to Aronquito, a possible solution could be to deny entry to those arriving from China without confirmation of a recent negative coronavirus test. “Here, too, it would not have been without holes, because a certificate of coronavirus could be obtained two days before departure, and infection in half an hour. [before arrival]”, he commented.

Alexi Teivainen – HT


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